My family and I have returned safely from our yearly Christmas trip to Mexico, to the metropolitan area in which we formerly resided and in which my wife`s family still resides.
We had long waits at the border both entering and leaving Mexico. Why? The reason it takes so long is there are so many U.S.-resident Mexicans who return to Mexico at Christmastime. Since they drive U.S. cars, the Mexican government requires (and charges for) temporary automobile permits for each and every car. If there aren`t too many cars moving through the system, the process goes fast. But when there are many cars passing through, at Christmastime, you could have to wait for hours. And that`s what we did.
The day we entered Mexico, December 21st, we it took us six hours to get the car permit. Leaving Mexico, on January 4th,it took us five and a half hours to turn the permit in, get across the border and get approved on the U.S. side.
In addition to the car permit, I had to get (and pay for) a permit for myself.
Looking at all the vehicles driven by Mexicans returning to visit for Christmas, with the license tags of various U.S. states, gives one just an inkling of how big and widespread is the Mexican Diaspora in the United States. And certainly, the Mexican government is making a lot of money selling them temporary car permits!
While visiting Mexico, we watched the new Hobbit movie, and liked it. The movie theaters are very nice in that metropolitan area, and going to the movies is a popular pastime.